YADEMA demands probe on Police, Kaliati over Chasowa

The Youth Association for Democracy in Malawi, (YADEMA) has demanded that Malawi Police should be thoroughly probed on the death of Robert Chasowa a death of a university student who may have been killed due to his anti-government activism.

Police ruled the death a suicide but an autopsy report indicated that he was beaten to death. Ruling DPP operatives are reported to have carried out the murder.

President Bingu wa Mutharika announced that an enquiry into the death will commence.

YADEMA  said in a statement emailed to Nyasa Timesthat it applaud the Head of State “for announcing that he is going to invoke his constitutional powers to set up a commission of inquiry on the death of our colleague and brother, Robert Chasowa.”

Kita: Police, Kaliati must be probed

Lawyer Wapona Kita, chairman of YADEMA, said in the statement that Chasowa’s death and “the justifications so far given by the State machinery have not only raised more questions than answers but left us confused as well.

“Hence it is only through a commission of inquiry that we hope the truth or something close to the truth will be established.”

However, YADEMA said “in setting up the Commission of Inquiry, we humbly but firmly call upon His Excellency to choose a team that will be objective, independent and impartial so that we can have the trust of its findings.”

The youth movement appealed to the President that the terms of reference for the Commission of Inquiry should not only be restricted to establishing the circumstances surrounding the death of Chasowa , but also on “finding out the circumstances that led to the police telling the nation that he committed suicide.”

Kita said the inquiry should also find out “ the circumstances that led the Minister of Information, Hon. Patricia Kaliati to tell the nation that it is Rafiq Hajat and Undule Mwakasungula  (activist) that are responsible for his death. “

Reads the statement: “Those holding public office need to be accountable for the (mis)statements they make to the public since as the Constitution succinctly puts it, the exercise of their legal and political authority is to solely serve and protect our interests. “

YADEMA said it is aware that in the past, Mutharika did set up Commissions of Inquiries, like the one on the death of  economist Kalonga Stambuli and the recent one on the Chancellor College academic freedom saga, but noted that to date, these commissions have not yet released their final reports.

“Thus while allowing the Commission of inquiry as much time as they would need, we again humbly call upon the President to fix a date by which, we should have the results of the Robert Chasowa death inquiry made public,” the statement concluded.

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